IBC2018 is approaching. Between now and then Radio World will conduct several short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Charlie Gawley is V.P. sales APAC & EMEA for Tieline.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s IBC Show?
Charlie Gawley: It's been our best year and we've seen some significant growth in Europe and expect it to continue.
Radio World: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?
Gawley: We are increasingly seeing more and more broadcasters moving away from expensive satellite networks, managed MPLS networks and heading toward the public internet and this is an area we are renowned for, we build the codec that always remains connected. Interestingly, we note a number of broadcasters are also moving away from aggregation of 3G/4G cellular networks as the telcos are increasingly offering carrier/network based aggregation — either way we have their needs covered.
Radio World: You’ve been active as a manufacturer of broadcast IP audio codecs for years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Gawley: We've been bringing IP Audio to the broadcast market for over 15 years. Increasingly we have seen more demands being placed on doing more with less, and that's been in both the areas of people and equipment. We've been listening closely to market needs and what we have created for Outside Broadcasts with the ViA codec enables broadcasters do more with less equipment. Essentially this box has integrated IP, ISDN and POTS streaming capability with touchscreen audio routing, record and playback features, plus input EQ and compression, and input and output limiting. This means you can go out to an OB with just the ViA and not require mixers, compressors, recorders, playback machines and other outboard gear. It’s all self-contained in a single light-weight unit.
On the people front we now see fewer engineers, so more is being asked of them and the talent, so we have developed the Cloud Codec Controller to enable Engineers to provide support whilst not being present at the OB. This allows the talent to focus on what they do best.
Radio World: What new products will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your stand? Tieline is at booth 8.E74.
Gawley: Our products are forever evolving with the needs of our customers and this year for the first time at IBC you will see the Cloud Codec Controller in action, as well as the built-in recording and file player functions within the ViA.
The Cloud Codec Controller is designed to manage an entire fleet of Tieline codecs remotely, and will allow engineers to configure, connect and monitor all remote codecs from the studio. This software immediately detects the presence of a Tieline codec or device running the Report-IT Enterprise app when it connects to the internet. This allows engineers to remotely control live connections from the comfort of the studio, at home, or anywhere they have internet connectivity.
I touched on the ViA earlier and this codec is a game-changer for live OBs. Some of the new record and playback features engineers can see at IBC include how you can stream live, record, and play audio files simultaneously. Other record and playback features include selectable routing of any input, return audio and file playback audio. Also I will show how you can view and manage recordings, create playlists of local recordings and imported files, and use Cue mode to monitor playback offline.
Radio World: What specific challenges and/or developments do you expect in your markets over the next 12 months?
Gawley: Convergence in every sense, convergence of hardware into simpler boxes that do more, convergence of networks where 5G will change live broadcasting not just for the radio world but video, and the challenge is to meet it all as well as the ever-changing landscape of standards.
Radio World: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend in general at IBC2018?
Gawley: I alluded earlier to advancements with cellular operators providing network-based aggregation with bitrates beyond 450 Megabits, with full QoS and Network priority. 5G will be one to watch and we are all geared up and ready for it.
Radio World: Is the IBC Show a good investment?
Gawley: Most definitely, as it underpins our ongoing success in Europe as we continue to forge stronger relationships with new and existing customers and it’s also where we get great insights from customers. I recall one year being asked by almost every European broadcaster about implementing the OPUS audio compression algorithm after it was presented at the EBU ACIP briefing. We delivered it first as an early Christmas present for all that year.
Radio World: You’re a show veteran, how has the show changed since your first visit?
Gawley: We’ve seen significant advancements in technology where the broadcast engineer is now a broadcast IT engineer. We've also seen access to faster and more reliable data networks. Whereas years ago we enabled customers to broadcast live over 2G with 7 kHz Voice at 14.4 kbps, today customers are streaming full bandwidth audio using OPUS, E-aptX and Linear PCM.
Radio World: What’s your favorite thing about this show?
Gawley: Firstly, it’s all about the people and listening to their new projects and the challenges they face. It’s where we can put our heads together and provide a customized solution for their needs. Secondly, I like the village feel to it as it's more intimate than NAB, where you can get closer to the customer and it's easier for them to get around.